So punk rock was a thing, then the Pogues punked up some Irish songs and it was hip to cut your hair short, speed up the tempo and go hell for leather with the drinking songs if you were a folk band.
The thing is one band managed to go from performing one of the most cringeworthy songs about a charabanc to a small coastal town on the Menai Straits to convincing the record buying public that they were a real punk-folk band.
I give you The Oysterband who successfully reinvented themselves from being Fiddlers Dram with the gloriously frivolous song Daytrip to Bangor and didn’t they have a lovely time. To the serious folk-rock band that recorded the much more serious Another Quiet Night in England.
You can compare and contrast, yes it’s mostly the same band.
Now don’t get me wrong Daytrip to Bangor brings back memories of many a coach trip to North Wales from my hometown, it was just a couple of hours away but may as well have been another continent from Liverpool. Of course pick the right weekend in Rhyll or Llandudno and you could very well be on Church Street in Liverpool if you only listened to the accents. The coach on the way back would smell like brown ale and fish and chips and we invariably had to stop to use the toilet somewhere between Queensferry and Runcorn. Oh the heady days of childhood in North Wales.
Now The Oysterband are actually a rather excellent folk-rock band, they did get better when Cathy LeSurf decamped to join one of Ashley Hutchings incarnations of the Albion Band they got to speed up and get all jiggery with the music.
Listening to Step Outside by the Oysterband these days it’s easy to get caught up in the less than muscular sound, it really is not as good as the live sound they managed to have at the time. The songs really came alive live and the dancing was wild and frivolous, as shown by my awful blurred photograph.
There may have been some movement involved in the photography here as I relived a moment from my youth. If you could see the photograph you would notice that they are such nice clean cut young men, even though they seemed to have a decidedly socialist bent to the lyrics which could be worrying in this age of nationalism and fear of the other, or was that last year?